Mac UK

Good-Bye Macs, Hello OS X

Dirk Pilat - 2001.09.25

A very good day to you and greetings from the centre of the known universe, also known as inner-city London. As property prices around here are almost as bad as downtown Tokyo before the Japanese economy went bust, I can afford only a broomsized flat in a paramilitarised zone from my rather generous income.

For a third of the rent I am paying at the moment, I was able to live in a magnificent house on the Scottish westcoast, with enough space to accommodate my five low-end Macs: a beautiful SE I used as my word processor, sitting on the kitchen table and overlooking the bay; a IIci that was running NetBSD to improve my Linux skills; a IIfx with a Radius Rocket that was being used as a file dump; a IIcx that was used as a mail server; and a Power Mac 7100 that was set up as a part time Web server. Of course, most of what I did was a complete waste of time and just designed to fill in these empty hours during the Scottish winter, but nevertheless I miss them: I had to sell them all (well, give them away for a couple of pence, really) because they didn't fit in my new bloody apartment.

Now I've got this fancy new iBook, which runs on its own without any hiccups (well, apart from the gripes I've already published, but that's really just details) and fits into the broom cupboard. Now I don't have anything anymore to get my hands dirty on. There is obviously only one alternative to a gaggle of old Macintoshes that are broken, out of date, hard to get working again, with only the Net and a bunch of dedicated nutters to help you: OS X.

As it is sitting on my hard disk and cluttering my normally spotless desktop, I decided to fire it up and take it through the motions. I looked at it a couple of minutes, saw it crawling over the desktop, checked out the shell features, and finally remembered what it reminded me off: the Commodore Amiga. Okay, maybe the desktop wasn't as pretty, but the principle is the same: a pretty GUI with all the advanced features you need hidden away under the hood in form of a Unix-like shell. Interesting though, he?

It just proves that even IT follows the same principles as the fashion industry: If you just wait long enough the stuff you were wearing twenty years ago will be back in fashion (in my case a really horrible Benetton T-shirt that used be all the rage on French beaches in the middle of the eighties). So, OS X it is: The new hobby that is supposed to keep me occupied through those wet London evenings that I should rather be spending on the files of my patients (or with my long suffering girlfriend). But, as usual, I need your help: Tell me (and the world) what you have been doing to OS X to turn it into a operating system that will look and feel as highly personalized and individual as the current version of OS 9.1 that's still dominating my world.

So, without hesitation, get writing and enlighten me and the rest of the world what to do with that strange new thing on our desktops: OS X.

Signing out from the centre of the universe, LEM

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